The first season of Community stood out as some of the funniest things on TV. The second season has shown glimpses of what the first season offered without ever quite getting there. This ep is the perfect example of what this show is capable of with a great mix of funny pieces as well as moments of genuine heart between the characters.
This week the gang are celebrating Troy's birthday discreetly before they discover that he isn't 20 but rather 21. The study group agree that it is no way to celebrate becoming a man and decide to go out for a night on the drink. As Jeff and Britta argue over whose bar is better the gang discover that Shirley has a past with the bar they are in with photos of her plastered all across the bar. Meanwhile Annie is worried that the bar employees will look into her ID so she assumes the identity on the card as a girl from Texas, she strikes up a conversation with the bar lady professing that she is a drifter that is trouble, unlike her square friend Annie. All the while Abed gets into a conversation about Farscape with a man that clearly has only one interest, that being getting it on with Abed.
Wheelchair bound Pierce is separate to the group when he spends most of his time trying to blow his chair into the bar. All the while he is refusing help from everyone only making things worse.
This episode was just as funny as it was caring and character enriching. This ep shied away from the usual meta and parody and went for a more simple character-centric ep that really advanced the characters further and their relationships with one another. For all the laughs the best scene was when Troy walked Annie back to her appartment and gave her a pick me up when she was doubting herself. Troy over the course of the episode we see Troy as a far more independent and intelligent kid than most of the gang give him credit for.
All in all a really good ep that gives its audience far more than they would have expected in the lead up to the episode.